Friday, August 31, 2007

Vee Have Vays Of Making You Understand

mcjoan writes at Daily Kos over today's Krauthammer article in the Washington Post, suggesting "We should have long ago...[]...begun working to have this dysfunctional government replaced":
A coup! That's what the Iraqis need, that will certainly help the country understand the benefits of Jeffersonian democracy that we're bringing to them.
From time to time the right-wing nut sites I read leave me speechless. John Hawkins writes on Hugh Hewitt's
Two years after Katrina, everywhere you turn, there are people carping, whining, and kvetching. Just why hasn't the pity party for the citizens of New Orleans run out of booze and chips yet?

It's not as if hurricanes are a once a millennium event in the United States. In fact, residents of Florida have so many of them that they don't even cancel a barbecue for anything under a Category 3.

Moreover, people lose their homes in this country every day of the year. If it isn't a hurricane, it's an earthquake. If it isn't an earthquake, it's a tornado. If it isn't a tornado, it's a fire. If it isn't a fire, it's a flood. Yet nobody sits and frets about John Doe, age 58, who lost his house in a flash flood two years ago or Jane Doe, age 60, who had her house blown away by a twister back in 2005.

But, we're all supposed to eternally sit around and weep tiny little tears of sadness for the people who really took it on the chin in a hurricane because they chose to live in a city shaped like a soup bowl on the coast. Let me tell all the citizens of New Orleans something that should have been told to them 18 months ago: it's time to stop playing the sympathy card and get over it.

Nobody is owed a living for the rest of his life because he had a bad break two years ago. Yet, we still have people affected by Katrina who have FEMA paying their rent. How sad and pathetic is it that these shiftless people are still leaching off their fellow citizens? Since when is being in the path of a hurricane supposed to give you a permanent "Get Out of Work Free" card?
Poor Fort Greene's getting stripped bare of its former soul at every turn. This is really sad:
While eminent domain cases are nothing new in Atlantic Yardsville, the Brooklyn Paper today spotlights a Fort Greene case that's particularly foot-in-the-balls. In the tentacles of the so-called BAM Cultural District, three friends took over the lease on an old liquor store on Fulton Street and Ashland Place, with the aim of turning it into a non-profit arts venue called Amber Art & Music Space. What they were never told was that the city wants to seize the building for— - wait for it - —an arts space. The Manhattan-based Dancespace Project is slated to get the spot, even though the Amber Art peeps have sunk $200,000 in rent into the space already. Oof.
Right-wing blabbermouths are gonna go nuts over that "Iraqi chemical weapons left in storage at the UN" story. It's got all they love, especially if they just read a little of the story and then turn it into something they want it to be: "WMDs Found! And they're Iraqi! We were right to invade! And the UN is incompetent! Group XYZ isn't taking terrorism seriously!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"No One is in the Club's Lounge"

Great, thanks, CNN.

It must be a serious War if the upper class feels sad sometimes when they play in the pool.
Nearby, one of Amal's daughters, 7-year-old Golmaz, splashes happily around the pool in her inner tube, avoiding her brother, who has Sesame Street floaties on his arms and is trying to pester her.

"At home, I am bored and scared and lonely; it makes me sad," Golmaz says. "But when I come here, I am happy."

It takes her mind off the gruesome images of people dying in the war that surrounds them. "Once, there was a bomb close to the bridge. Lots of people died. I saw it from the window. I cried," the little girl says, then swims away.

Her words are piercing. Welcome to Iraq's grieving oasis.

Tears begin streaming down Fatma's face as she recalls how she hasn't been able to visit her parents at her childhood home for the last three years. "I wish, I wish, I wish I could just go and sit in my house. Go back to the old days," she says.

Here, everyone talks of the "old days." The club is a shadow of what it once was. Two of the pools lie empty, the gardens are deserted and no one is in the club's lounge.
Go Go, Gadget-Giant-Spider-Web!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You Little Tucker

I write to MSNBC:
I was disgusted by Tucker Carlson's admission of physical "gay-bashing" - a hate crime - and believe he owes a SERIOUS apology to his audience. What a terrible presence for your network. If I ran MSNBC, he'd be out of a job immediately. There's NO place on TV for Tucker joking about beating people up for making passes at him.


And his recent statement on the matter seems nothing other than a lie, as it completely contradicts the story he told. How dare he turn this into his own being victimized!
Do check out the excuse at the Media Matters coverage, where he changes his original language. The original description of the story, as he told on-air:
I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and ... hit him against the stall with his head, actually.
The new "statement":
Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.
Tucker, how DARE you turn this into you being victimized. You scared little shithead.
I think I've officially seen enough of those "Look at Pictures of Me Over Time All in One Sequence" videos.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ed Felten, from Freedom to Tinker, on the iphone unlocking issue:
I’ll grant that AT&T would prefer that you buy their service. Exxon would prefer that you be required to buy gasoline from them, but the government (rightly) doesn’t try to stop you from filling up elsewhere. The question is not what benefits AT&T or Exxon, but what benefits society as a whole. And the strong presumption is that letting the free market operate — letting customers decide which product to buy — is the best and most efficient policy. Absent some compelling argument that iPhone lock-in is actually necessary for the market to operate efficiently, government should let customers choose their cell operator. Indeed, government policy already tries to foster choice of carriers, for example by requiring phone number portability.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Today's Vista hot-ness:
Whenever any audio is being sent to a sound card (even, several users report, while paused), network performance is instantly reduced. As soon as the audio is stopped, the throughput begins to climb to its expected speed.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The post begins this way: "Today, Karl Rove gave a media interview at an IHOP in Waco, Texas."


IMG_3911.JPG, originally uploaded by cricketheron.

Looking over the recent posts here, I think I'm getting a little unbalanced towards politics, so today I present a palate cleanser from a couple weeks ago - a basket of what my family has always called "dewberries," picked from the Northwest Corner of Connecticut by my 5-year old niece/cousin/something-or-other...

Friday, August 17, 2007


What a thoroughly bizarre reason Tony Snow is giving for stepping down as Press Secretary. It's like he's not even trying any more. CNN:
Snow told conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday "financial reasons" may prevent him for serving the remainder of his boss's presidency.

"I'm not going to be able to go the distance, but that's primarily for financial reasons." Snow said. "I've told people when my money runs out, then I've got to go."

According to The Washington Post, Snow makes $168,000 as the White House spokesman.
He must so desperately want to get away from there, he doesn't even care that his explanation makes him sound like making money is more important than helping his country. Is this the echo of a major falling out with Bush? Is it less embarrassing to him to have it pointed out that he's complaining about a salary over 7 times the poverty line (for his family of 5) than to have to spend another with these dangerous incompetents?

He might as well have said something like "It's just not fun anymore" or "It doesn't give me the freedom to drink as much on the weekends as I'd like."

"shopping, beauty regimens, life-long dieting, abortions"

I've really been enjoying the nutso RenewAmerica, which is apparently the site for an organization run by the supra-nut Alan Keyes.

Today, I draw your attention to columnist Nancy Levant, enumerating the habits of the modern woman:
I look at contemporary American women who have become so spoiled, vain, self-involved, self-obsessed, and useless that shopping, beauty regimens, life-long dieting, abortions, and debt-based home decorating have led multi-millions of our wives and mothers to anti-depressant dependencies while supporting the mental health and pharmaceutical industries to global-political depopulation power.
Don't miss the rest of the RenewAmerica site! They've got features like this on the home page:

If the NYC government decided to add freestanding billboards, 4 feet wide, to the sidewalks all around the city, so they could make more money, folks would be in an uproar. And yet, that's essentially what payphones are in this city now, writes the NYTimes.
The phone kiosks generate $62 million in advertising revenue annually — and last year the city got $13.7 million of the take, triple what it pulled in from calls.

Over all, the number of pay phones in New York is falling, as it is throughout the country. But in a phenomenon unique to New York, the phones are more valuable than ever, thanks to the intense competition among advertisers for attention in a city of eight million.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rich Lowry, via Sadly, No

Sadly No takes on Lowry...and I have an excuse to post their picture from the article:

That, by the way, is one of the longest posts I've ever seen. I didn't read the whole thing. A towering accomplishment of Wingnut cataloging. My hat is off, as well as a $3 donation via the Amazon Honor System link at the bottom. No one journeys deeper into wingnuttia. I could never do it.

I Tell You What...

I've heard some complaints about Washington Post columnist David Broder over the years (Atrios often refers to Bush as "Broder's Boy"), but now I've witnessed it first-hand. Look at this tripe!
When Fred Thompson makes his long-delayed entrance into the Republican presidential race, he will not tiptoe quietly. Instead, he will try to shake up the establishment candidates of both parties by depicting a nation in peril from fiscal and security threats -- and prescribing tough cures that he says others shrink from offering.

In a two-hour conversation over coffee at a restaurant near his Virginia headquarters, the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future.


Thompson readily concedes that he does not know "where all those chips are going to fall" when he starts challenging members of various interest groups to look beyond their individual agendas and weigh the sacrifices that could ensure a better future for their children.

But these issues -- national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway heath-care costs -- "are worth a portion of a man's life. If I can't get elected talking that way, I probably don't deserve to be elected."

Thompson says he feels "free to do it" his own way, and that freedom may just be enough to shake up the presidential race.
Just a good ol' boy....never meanin' no harm...

This is a columnist? More like a TV writer.

Update: Roger Ailes (not the Fox one) also found this post nauseating, and writes much more clearly than I.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today is the 6-month anniversary of Bush's "surge" in Iraq.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Got The Mott's

Why I read wingnuttia right-wing blogs...for moments like this, at the end of an article entitled "Is Harry Potter Anti-Contraception?":

The witchcraft of Harry Potter is for the most part pure fantasy. On the other hand, contraception — which is never mentioned in the Harry Potter books — is accepted as morally licit by many who claim to be Bible-believing Christians. As such, Harry Potter offers orthodox Catholics an opportunity to evangelize Protestants in the spiritual dangers of contraceptive sorcery.


These interviewers just all stood by, excited and oozing enthusiasm, as Pollack and O'Hanlon lavished tales on the country of the grand and glorious progress we are finally making in Iraq. The host on the very-very-liberal NPR began the Pollack interview by gushing: "If you've been searching the papers for good news from Iraq, we found a little on the Op-Ed pages!" Vapid, mindless and absurd.

After all this time, and everything that has happened under the Bush presidency, nothing has changed. Michael Gordon and the NYT continue to publish one war-fueling story after the next on its front page based on nothing other than the unverified claims of government and military officials. Our "journalists" do not have even an iota of instinct to question or probe anything they hear from our war-mongering Serious Experts and Serious Political Leaders.

And the Foreign Policy Community is led by highly revered propagandists whose "scholarship" violates the most basic and obvious principles of research and disclosure -- all in the service of prolonging still further a war for which they bear profound responsibility. This, in turn, is driven by the overarching and self-absorbed fear that they will be forced to acknowledge their own wrongdoing and culpability. And thus we will remain occupying and waging war in Iraq, through the end of the Bush presidency and beyond.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sci-Fi author Karl Schroeder:
We should have been colonizing Earth as though it were a planet with no ecosystem resources to exploit.
(via BoingBoing via WorldChanging)
Time Warner Cable's got the brilliant fucking idea to offer DVRs without the ability to skip commercials, and only keep your shows for a maximum of 1 day. Sure it's free, but do you understand nothing about how Tivo became popular?

Here's another free idea for you that I'm sure will really take off and customers will love. How about a dedicated button on the remote, where viewers can press the button at any time during a commercial and they can be immediately added to an email list from that advertiser, letting them get More Information about that product? Great, huh?

Hilarious time for TWC to introduce a new marketing slogan and url: wethinklikeyouthink.
Best headline about Merv's death:
r _ p, m e r _ g r _ f f _ n
How pathetic is it that Bush, relaxing in his August vacation, didn't even have the guts to stand up to a microphone and announce that Rove, a true centerpiece of his entire political history, was resigning?

The nugget was instead hidden in the friggin' SIXTH paragraph of that interview with the Wall Street Journal.

I'm guessing he was just too afraid - too self-conscious - to publicly announce something that folks have been clamoring for for years. He doesn't like doing anything that folks argue he has to do.

"And as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family, " say Rove.

Update: Joe at AMERICAblog notes how, despite all the "Architect" and "Bush's Brain" and "political wiz-kid" talk,
Rove has also helped make Bush one of the worst and least popular Presidents ever.

Update 2:Apparently Bush is in fact going to speak today, and then Rove, avec family, is going ride with him on Air Force One back to Texas for vacation.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another fucking inane lifestyle article from the NY Times - something about how women are feeling more comfortable ordering steaks on dates these days, or something.

My, My Headphones, and the World

I love this little detail from an recent Apple patent filing...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A TV ad this evening for Fridays:
What am I in the mood for? How about everything I want and nothing I don't!
As I sat gazing at the dark-haired bird-like woman in front of me on the train, I thought about what kind of person reads a book like The Diana Chronicles (on the life and death of Princess Diana). My eyes looked down and found on one of the open pages what was probably a pretty central moment of the book: "But this time her broken heart would never mend."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh, Yeah, Good Point

My favorite evangelical Christian blogger (and I'm not being sarcastic) David Kuo:
Is the complete mess of the Republican party any clearer than with the fact that all of these men who are trying to compete for votes and attention - and are really trying to mobilize the completely disinterested conservative Christian movement - did so on a Sunday morning when, oh, Christians spend their time at church and not watching morning political news shows?

The Table

The Editors have had enough about talking about what options are On The Table.
Shut the fuck up about “the table”. Shut the fuck up about what is on “the table”, and especially shut the fuck up about what isn’t on “the table” which, seeing as there is no table for something obviously retarded not to be on, is like two or three completely independent kinds of stupid. When one takes nukes off “the table”, where do they go? Are they stored in “boxes” in “the basement”, far away from “the table”, or are just left on “the mantle” in “the gracious drawing room”, to be easily retrieved for instant re-tabling should one, in a fit of high spirits, snap one’s “fingers” for “Marie, the French maid (and nothing else!)” to fetch them? These are the kinds of metaphorical/hypothetical domestic questions that really give me a fucking migraine. What I would like to hear is a candidate’s basic principles of statecraft, so as to understand how a potential President would make decisions. If one seeks particular examples, why not turn to history, which has spent thousands of years coming up with concrete examples of every far-out situation you could hope for (with the regrettable exception of situations where one country wakes up one day and starts nuking fools)? Let’s confine ourselves to these as much as possible, and not worry so much about inventorying imaginary “tables”.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ad Desperation

This ad makes Microsoft's Live Search seem a little desperate for attention. It's like the local FOX news broadcast in NYC, where the anchors will pop up in the afternoon *very* briefly and say something like "Is your child going to die tomorrow? More at 11."
Travis G from Sadly, No muses on a painful yet rewarding hobby:
Sometimes, as I click through Michelle Malkin’s blogroll and find myself draining another beer so I can use the empty bottle to beat myself in the head, I wonder if there might be a better use for my free time. But that would be missing the point.

Reading right-wing lunacy, much like following baseball or birdwatching, rewards the patient. If you sit there long enough, you might see something you’ve never seen before.


I can't remember where, but I found another web comic I really love being subscribed to: Wondermark.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I already thought those Polo shirts with the GIANT logos on them were beyond irritating, but now that I know they're called "Big Pony" shirts, it's even worse. Retch.
Just so you know, there's a site called Sock Dreams. It sells socks.

Alternate-Style Post:

I'm sorry to wake you...I forgot to tell you something. There is a site called Sock Dreams. It sells socks.

DailyLit and Wil Wheaton

Heard about the very simple and exciting DailyLit yesterday at CoolTools, and then I notice that Wil Wheaton chose the same first book to "subscribe to" as I did, noting just like me that it was one he had "meant to read for an embarrassingly long time."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tim F. at Balloon Juice compares the upcoming September report on the "surge" from Gen. Petraeus to the scientific method:
It goes without saying that even a country as disasterfied as Iraq must have something going well. That’s why respectable people establish criteria in advance that will determine whether or not an experiment worked. If all of us scientists could do our experiments and then carefully sift and manipulate our data to find the most appealing possible interpretation, huzzah! Every experiment would work. The Kagan experiment set out some fairly clear pass/fail criteria and then failed to meet them, but like a poor first-year grad student Bush can’t accept that his experiments don’t work so he’ll throw in a few numbers from column 2, switch the labels on a couple of figures and hope that nobody asks too many questions.